Assessing suppliers brings us closer together
Volker Energy Solutions
Industry: Energy supply
Modules: Tender management, Contract management, Supplier Relationship Management
In 2017, Volker Energy Solutions introduced a supplier assessment system. What does it entail, and what do their business relations notice of the system?
‘We want to be a professional client. So we want to work only with the best suppliers. A system for assessing suppliers helps us to do this.’ The Purchasing department ran a pilot project with the system with five suppliers in 2016. From this year, we will structurally assess our contractors.
The assessment system forms part of the supplier management tool , which we have been using for more than one year. ‘We use Mercell for just about everything: requests for offer, contract management, supplier management. At the start of a project, we purchase various products and services. This could be anything: steel, transformers, architectural work and civil engineering, for example. Suppliers submit their offers via Mercell. From the offers we receive we select a party with which we will do business. It’s not only about the price, but also about quality. We want to know whether a supplier can fulfil what it promises.’
Fixed group of suppliers
‘To be competitive we want to work only with professional suppliers who together with us will perform better for our customers and our stakeholders. For that reason we decided to use a fixed group of suppliers with a high level of quality. In a pre-selection round, we ask the suppliers to fill in a questionnaire. Matters we examine include their certificates, turnover data, employee quality and reference projects. If we decide to do business with a supplier, we will conclude a master contract.’
‘But we want to measure quality continuously. That’s why we now use this assessment system. This again occurs through Mercell. When a project has been completed, or a milestone has been reached, the supplier and the project leader fill in a questionnaire about functioning and performance. Based on these questions, we have a conversation.’
‘Knowing whether a supplier can fulfil what it promises’
‘These talks can be difficult; suppliers are sometimes reluctant to be honest because at the end of the day it’s about their client. But openness is actually what we want to encourage. Everybody learns from it. The talk brings us closer together. This kind of assessment obviously takes extra time. But we get a lot in return: the best suppliers, more efficient and safer working practices, stakeholders who are satisfied. The intention is to sit down and talk to each supplier at least twice a year. We discuss the progress being made and the various assessments.’